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Rufous-throated Dipper Cinclus schulzi
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species qualifies as Vulnerable owing to its small, fragmented and declining population (Collar et al. 1992). There are apparently a large number of small subpopulations, which are mostly declining (especially in Argentina) as a result of changes in water management and possibly deforestation.

Taxonomic source(s)
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

Cinclus schulzii Collar and Andrew (1988)

15 cm. Subtly coloured dipper. Dull slaty-grey. Paler on head and face. Pale pinky-rufous bib. White patch in primaries visible in flight and when wing flicking. Short tail and rounded wings. Dark bare parts. Voice Typically series of raspy and metallic shenk calls. Calls faster in flight.

Distribution and population
Cinclus schulzi occurs on the east Andean slope in south Bolivia (Tarija and Chuquisaca) and north-west Argentina (Jujuy, Salta, Tucumán, Catamarca). It can be quite local, and most subpopulations appear to be very small. Estimates of the Bolivian population vary from up to 500 pairs (Ergueta and Morales 1996) to over 1,000 pairs (Tyler and Tyler 1996). The latter figure is based on its widespread occurrence on permanent streams near Tarija, and it being locally common south of Narvaez (Tyler and Tyler 1996). The Argentine population has been estimated at no more than 1,000 pairs (Tyler 1994).

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 3,000-4,000 individuals, roughly equating to 2,000-2,700 mature individuals.

Trend justification
There are no new data on population size or trend, but current threats to occupied habitats suggest that slow or moderate, continuing declines are likely.

It inhabits rivers and streams 5-15 m in width with relatively stable channels, cascades, waterfalls, mid-river rocks, and rocky cliffs or banks (Mazar Barnett et al. 1998b, Tyler and Tyler 1996). It breeds in the alder Alnus acuminata zone at 1,500-2,500 m, descending to larger rivers at c.800 m during frosts (Tyler and Tyler 1996). It has been found above and below the Alnus zone, and on streams running through pastureland in Bolivia (S. Mayer in litt. 1999), where it may breed (Mazar Barnett et al. 1998b). Nests have been found in September-January, with territories of 500-1,000 m in length on suitable stretches of river (Tyler and Tyler 1996).

In Argentina, reservoir construction, hydroelectric and irrigation schemes and eutrophication threaten riverine habitats (Tyler and Tyler 1996), with pollution, reduced flows and river channel modifications most prevalent at lower altitudes (Tyler and Tyler 1996, S. Mayer in litt. 1999). If forest is required for breeding, logging, livestock-grazing and subsequent soil erosion are significant problems (Tyler and Tyler 1996, S. Mayer in litt. 1999). The introduction of exotic sport fish (e.g. trout) probably has a negative effect (A. Jaramillo in litt. 1999). However, much habitat is protected by its inaccessibility (Ergueta and Morales 1996), and, in Bolivia, these threats have limited effects on few rivers (A. Jaramillo in litt. 1999).

Conservation Actions Underway
It occurs in Baritú and Calilegua National Parks and Portrero de Yala Provincial Park, Argentina, and Tariquía National Reserve, Bolivia (Wege and Long 1995). The species's ecology is being studied in Tarija (Ergueta and Morales 1996).Conservation Actions Proposed
Establish a river management system enabling birds to access rivers with high water quality and adjacent alder Alnus areas. Redesign and implement the planned national park in the Nevados del Aconquija to include part of its range. Survey rivers between known localities and Campo de los Alisos National Park, Tucumán (J. C. Chebez in litt. 1999). Develop a public awareness campaign related to land-use and the protection of watersheds.

Collar, N. J.; Gonzaga, L. P.; Krabbe, N.; Madroño Nieto, A.; Naranjo, L. G.; Parker, T. A.; Wege, D. C. 1992. Threatened birds of the Americas: the ICBP/IUCN Red Data Book. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, U.K.

Ergueta, P.; de Morales, C. 1996. Libro Rojo de los vertebrados de Bolivia. Centro de Datos para la Conservación, La Paz.

Mazar Barnett, J.; Clark, R.; Bodrati, A.; Bodrati, G.; Pugnali, G.; della Seta, M. 1998. Natural history notes on some little-known birds in north-west Argentina. Cotinga: 64-75.

Tyler, S. J. 1994. The Yungas of Argentina: in search of Rufous-throated Dipper Cinclus schulzi. Cotinga: 38-40.

Tyler, S. J.; Tyler, L. 1996. The Rufous-throated Dipper Cinclus schulzi on rivers in north-west Argentina and southern Bolivia. Bird Conservation International 6: 103-116.

Wege, D. C.; Long, A. J. 1995. Key Areas for threatened birds in the Neotropics. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

Further web sources of information
Detailed species account from the Threatened birds of the Americas: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 1992). Please note taxonomic treatment and IUCN Red List category may have changed since publication.

Detailed species account from the Threatened birds of the Americas: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 1992). Please note, taxonomic treatment and IUCN Red List category may have changed since publication.

Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Recuento detallado de la especie tomado del libro Aves Amenazadas de las Americas, Libro Rojo de BirdLife International (BirdLife International 1992). Nota: la taxonomoía y la categoría de la Lista Roja de la UICN pudo haber cambiado desde esta publicación.

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Gilroy, J., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J

Chebez, J., Jaramillo, A., Mayer, S.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Cinclus schulzi. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Rufous-throated dipper (Cinclus schulzi) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Cinclidae (Dippers)
Species name author Cabanis, 1882
Population size 2000-2700 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 22,500 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species